East County News Service
August 21, 2021 (San Diego) — In response to the extreme drought conditions impacting Southern California, the Metropolitan Water District’s Board of Directors on Aug. 17 declared a Water Supply Alert, calling for consumers and businesses to voluntarily reduce their water use and help preserve the region’s storage reserves. The declaration comes a day after the Bureau of Reclamation declared a first-ever shortage on the Colorado River, which typically provides about 25 percent of Southern California’s water needs.
The board’s action urges residents, businesses and agencies in Metropolitan’s 5,200 square-mile service area including San Diego County to lower the region’s water demand to stave off more severe actions in the future, which could include restricting water supplies to Metropolitan’s 26 member agencies.
San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Gary Croucher issued this statement: “Declining water availability on the Colorado River and worsening drought conditions statewide underscore the importance of collective actions to ensure reliable water supplies not only for today, but for next year and for future generations. Thankfully, the San Diego region has prepared for dry periods and our water supplies will continue to sustain our economy and quality of life. At the same time, we are working with our partners at the regional, state, and federal levels to advance water management solutions for the Southwest because we realize that we are all in this together.
Croucher adds, “The quickest way to help defeat drought is to eliminate water waste at homes and businesses, and we stand with MWD and Governor Newsom in supporting voluntary water-use efficiencies. There are several ways to do that: checking irrigation systems for leaks and repairing them quickly; keeping chilled water in the fridge instead of running the tap to let it cool; keeping showers to 5 minutes or fewer; applying mulch around plants to reduce evaporation. With those steps and others, we will emerge from this drought stronger together.”
Metropolitan Water’s board chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said, “Southern Californians have done an extraordinary job reducing their water use, which has helped us build up our stored reserves for times like these. But now we’re relying on our storage to get us through this exceptionally dry year. And we don’t know what next year will bring. We must all find ways we can save even more so we have the water we need if this drought continues.”
With 50 of California’s 58 counties under a state emergency drought proclamation, Gov. Gavin Newsom last month called on Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use.
While no Southern California counties are yet under the emergency proclamation, it is critical that residents here heed the governor’s water-saving call, Metropolitan General Manager Adel Hagekhalil said.
“This is a time when we all need to come together as a…